Political change is in the air in Erie County, and not just in the county executive's office.
Joel A. Giambra, recovering from Dec. 13 cancer surgery, is scheduled to be sworn in as county executive, the first Republican to occupy the position in 12 years, during a low-key ceremony Friday.
State Supreme Court Justice Robert E. Whelan will administer Giambra the oath of office in his courtroom at the City Court Building at 1 p.m. Because of the small size of the room, attendance is by invitation only. No reception is planned, said Bruce L. Fisher, Giambra's chief of staff.
Giambra will not be the only official taking the oath of office as 2000 dawns. Ceremonies across Erie County communities began earlier this month and will continue through Jan. 12. Some of them will be historic in their own right.
In Cheektowaga, for example, Supervisor Dennis H. Gabryszak will be sworn in to a second term Thursday during a three-hour ceremony and reception that includes a visit from Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y.
Cheektowaga, the largest Democratic-controlled suburb in the county, invited Schumer to serve as guest speaker and to administer the oath of office to Gabryszak during a ceremony at the town's senior citizens center.
Erie County Democratic Chairman G. Steven Pigeon extended the invitation to Schumer, and the senator quickly accepted.
"He's made it a priority to spend a lot of time upstate since he's been elected," said Schumer press secretary Maura Dougherty. "He made a lot of friends (in Cheektowaga) during the campaign."
In the Town of Tonawanda, meanwhile, the swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 3 will not be nearly as elaborate but will be unusual nonetheless.
The Town Hall ceremony will feature Supervisor Carl J. Calabrese being sworn in for a third term, and Council Member E. William Miller being named deputy supervisor.
Just hours later, however, before the end of a Town Board meeting that night, Calabrese plans to resign from his town job so that he can begin work the next day in Erie County Hall as Giambra's deputy county executive.
With Calabrese's resignation, Miller will assume the role of acting supervisor until the Town Board picks Calabrese's successor, probably in late January or early February.
In other communities, the swearing-in ceremonies mark the beginning -- or end -- of history in the making.
In Buffalo City Hall, the city's first-ever African-American majority on the Common Council will be sworn in during a 10 a.m. ceremony Friday in Council chambers. Council President James W. Pitts will also be sworn in to a second term at that time. State Sen. Anthony R. Nanula, D-Buffalo, will be sworn in at noon Monday as city comptroller during a ceremony in the old County Hall.
In Amherst, meanwhile, the Republicans will regain control of the Town Board during a swearing-in ceremony Saturday in Town Hall. With the election of three Republicans in the fall, the GOP forced the town's first ever Democratic majority out of office.
Swearing-in ceremonies could also mean change in other suburbs, though party control will not change.
In Clarence, for example, a candidate who ran on an anti-sprawl platform will be sworn in Jan. 5.
Similarly, the dynamics could change on the Lancaster Town Board, where Democrats maintain control but Republicans won a foothold on the board. Two Republican board members and one Democrat, as well as a Democratic supervisor, will be sworn in during a New Year's Day ceremony in Town Hall.
Of course, Erie County is not the only government getting a new leader as the new year approaches.
In the City of Lackawanna, Mayor-elect John J. Kuryak will be sworn in on New Year's Eve, when the current mayor, Kathleen M. Staniszewski, leaves office.
In the Town of Aurora, former Councilman Tom Cotton will be sworn in to his new post as town supervisor when the town holds its inductions at 2 p.m. Friday in Town Hall.
What follows is a roundup of most of the swearing-in ceremonies in Erie County:
Erie County executive: Friday, time and location to be determined; County Legislature, 4 p.m. Jan. 5 in the atrium of the Erie Community College City Campus.
Alden: 7 p.m. Monday, Town Hall.
Amherst: 4 p.m. Saturday, Council chambers.
Aurora: 2 p.m. Friday, Town Hall.
Boston: 1 p.m. Saturday, Town Hall.
Brant: 10 a.m. Sunday, Community Building.
Buffalo: Common Council, 10 a.m. Friday, Council chambers; city comptroller, Monday, old County Hall.
Cheektowaga: 6 p.m. Thursday, Cheektowaga Senior Citizens Center.
Clarence: 7 p.m. Jan. 5, organizational meeting.
Colden: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, organizational meeting.
Collins: 6 p.m. Friday, Town Hall.
Concord: Noon Saturday, Town Hall.
Elma: 1 p.m. Saturday, Town Hall.
Evans: 1 p.m. Friday, Town Hall.
Grand Island: Noon Saturday, Sidway Elementary School.
Holland: Organizational meeting, 8 p.m. Jan. 12, Town Hall.
Lackawanna: 1 p.m. Friday, Martin Road Senior Citizens Center.
Lancaster: Noon Saturday, Town Hall.
Marilla: 2 p.m. Saturday, Town Hall.
North Collins: 1 p.m. Saturday, Senior Recreation Center, Route 62.
Orchard Park: 8 p.m. Jan. 5, before organizational meeting.
Sardinia: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Town Hall.
CIty of Tonawanda: 6 p.m. Thursday, City Hall.
Town of Tonawanda: 5 p.m. Monday, Town Hall.
West Seneca: Noon Sunday, Senior Citizens Center.
Ceremonies will also be held over the week in Hamburg and Eden. Details were not immediately available. Ceremonies have already been held in Newstead and Wales.